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J Am Chem Soc. 2004 Apr 28;126(16):5318-22.

Scanning tunneling microscopy of prochiral anthracene derivatives on graphite: chain length effects on monolayer morphology.

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Department of Chemistry, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912 USA.


The morphology of monolayers formed upon adsorption of prochiral 1,5-substituted anthracene derivatives on highly oriented pyrolytic graphite is investigated using scanning tunneling microscopy at the liquid-solid interface. The adsorption orientation of these prochiral anthracene derivatives positions one of their enantiotopic faces in contact with the graphite. The molecules adsorb in rows with contact between adjacent anthracenes. The anthracene side chains extend perpendicular to the direction of the row repeat. All molecules within a single row adsorb via the same enantiotopic face. Anthracenes with side chains containing an even number of non-hydrogenic atoms (C, S) form monolayers in which molecules in adjacent rows adsorb via opposite enantiotopic faces. Anthracenes with side chains that contain an odd number of non-hydrogenic atoms form two-dimensional chiral domains in which all rows contain molecules adsorbed via the same enantiotopic face. This chain length effect on monolayer morphology represents a generalized example of structural effects previously observed in alkanoic acid monolayers formed on HOPG. The variation of the STM current with position in the vicinity of the anthracenes indicates that the highest occupied molecular orbital is the predominant mediator of tunneling for the aromatic group.

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